Paul the Apostle preached one of the all time best sermons to men with five fundamental points and did it in twenty-one words! People who know me would say that I cannot say a simple “hello” in twenty-one words! Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (ESV), “13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.”
Be watchful. I believe as men that we are called to be watchful not only for ourselves but also for our families. The NIV states this as to “be on your guard.” We should constantly keep tabs regarding our own lives and stay in tune what is happening in our wife’s life and in the lives of our children. In the complicated world of “family” today, you may not even live with your children. However, this does not keep us from being watchful. As best we can, be as watchful as possible to what is happening in our families. If you look at the power of 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, you can see why. “3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” In this text, Paul was aiming the above at the Corinthians. He had the power in prayer to impact others’ lives…”taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Through the tools we have as believers in Christ, our prayers can have a huge impact on our families. So be watchful and pray!
Stand firm. The other major Biblical passage that challenges us to stand firm is Ephesians 6 where Paul deals with spiritual warfare. God wants us to understand daily that we are in a fight “not against flesh and blood” but against “principalities and powers in the spiritual realm.” Paul commanded us to put on the armor of God and keep it on! Read Ephesians 6:10-18 to study this. Standing firm starts in the spiritual world not in the natural world. Stand firm!
Act like men (literal translation). In the NIV, these same words are translated “be courageous.” It was understood that in the Biblical times a man was to be courageous. In today’s world this, I am afraid that we as men have lost this calling. Courage only make sense when there are things occurring that naturally causes fear. Courage is affirmative attitude and action in the midst of challenges. Let’s think about this relative to today. Courage is a man recovering from addiction, pornography, people pleasing, controlling, etc. and determining in the power of the Holy Spirit to be courageous. It is a dad willing to do the right thing when it is easier to fit in with what is going on around him. It is a business man who chooses to do the moral thing when it would be much easier to do what colleagues are doing…willing to do the right best thing even if it hurts the pocket book. Courage is tough. It is peace making not peace keeping.
Be strong. We as men should be looked upon by our family and others as strong. This does not mean being macho but having solid values, a straight and narrow life style, someone whose wife and kids know that they can count on. This is a tough calling for some of us. We may not be perceived as strong. Start today in the power of the Holy Spirit and see what God does.
Let all that you do be done in love. Being a man is not macho thing. It is a serving thing! It is being meek, humble looking, acting and talking like Jesus. Our family should know that we love them. A couple of times a year, a man will ask me in front of their wives what love really is. This is frustrating to their wife but I believe it is a really good question. Dudes, love is not a Hallmark thing. It ain’t a feeling. It takes on the character of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. In other words, it looks like Him. Love is an action word!
Hey, I recognize that I only gave this passage what my grand mom used to say as “a lick and a promise.” However, I hope that you read 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 multiple times, memorize it and let it soak your soul living it out in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!